The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M offense looks to continue momentum against South Carolina

Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Freshman running back Isaiah Spiller rushed for 217 yards against the Roadrunners.

As Texas A&M comes off its second and final bye week of the season, the Aggies hope to continue the offensive production that they have found in games against Mississippi State and UTSA.
With South Carolina coming to Kyle Field for A&M’s last home game of the year, the Aggies are presented a challenge with a defense that has troubled several SEC opponents and has upset win over Georgia on the road in Athens.
Two vital skill position players for A&M have shown improvement in their overall play in the past several weeks. Junior quarterback Kellen Mond and freshman running back Isaiah Spiller have been deciding factors as the Aggies have won three straight games against Ole Miss, Mississippi State and UTSA following a loss at home to Alabama on Oct. 12.
Mond has passed for 617 yards, five touchdowns and one interception in the three-win stretch. He said though the team isn’t playing at its highest level, he does see the improvement it has made.
“I don’t think we’re exactly where we want to be,” Mond said. “But I like where we’re at and the progress we’ve made in the past two or three weeks. We’ve seen flashes of us getting better each and every week.”
Spiller has also seen increased production. He has recorded 667 rushing yards this season, but 385 of those yards came in the Aggies’ last three games. He has also found the end zone five times in this stretch, which is more than double the amount of touchdowns he recorded in A&M’s other six games.
Junior wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon explained that Spiller’s improved play has allowed the offense to open up.
“I think anytime we get everybody involved on the offense, all the playmakers, it’s really hard to game plan against us,” Ausbon said. “Spiller’s done a great job right now getting his confidence back.”
These two players’ performances will be crucial when the Aggies face South Carolina on Nov. 16 and throughout the last two games of the season against Georgia and LSU.
South Carolina, on the other hand, has struggled with a 2-1 record during its last three games. The Gamecocks are coming off of a 20-15 loss to Appalachian State, and have also lost to Tennessee, with the one win in the stretch coming over Vanderbilt. With two games against A&M and Clemson remaining on the Gamecocks schedule, the 4-6 team is looking for two more wins to gain bowl eligibility.
South Carolina’s defense is ranked 47th nationally in yards allowed, and on average allow 365.2 yards per game to opponents. The upset over Georgia has been the Gamecocks’ biggest and strongest defensive outing. South Carolina intercepted Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm three times and slowed the Georgia offense to a rate that hasn’t been seen the rest of the season.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said South Carolina is one of the better defenses his team has faced all season.
“Defensive-front wise, they’re one of the best fronts we’ll see all year,” Fisher said. “Inside guys are very physical [and] can rush the passer. Linebackers are active. Secondary guys can run.”
A&M will host South Carolina on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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